Fandom: Gundam SEED
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Summary: Not quite a second chance...
Notes: for dog_daies, July 15th, 2009 - 'the one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart'
Cagalli Yula Athha believed in second chances. She believed in third chances as well, and sometimes as many opportunities as were possible to make something right.
She also knew that sometimes things could never be right, some things could never be forgiven, and sometimes one chance was all anyone ever got.
She tried not to regret her mistakes and she tried not to dwell on them. She could only move forward, after all, and try again and do better.
She didn't always want to move forward. She didn't always want better.
Cagalli wanted what she'd had and been too stubborn to force the world to let her hang on to.
She'd been happy--
And then, of course, there were the feelings she should never have had that she buried so far beneath her feelings for Athrun that she'd almost managed to deny them. Without Athrun, she felt far too attracted to Kira.
Now they were both there and close together, at the other end of the room and four dozen people away from her. She'd need to talk to most of them on the way, and that was okay. But Cagalli would watch them and seek out the story they seemed to be telling.
Kira apparently still couldn't keep any of the decorations on his dress uniform straight without Athrun helping him. Athrun's hair kept blowing except he was standing by an air vent so of course it was going to. They had their hands on each other in some way or other every time Cagalli looked over to them.
Hello, Hi, How is your wife, Is your son in school now, Did you get that new car? A hundred polite questions spread amongst four dozen important bodies and finally Cagalli was standing beside them.
"Were you talking to everyone but us?" Kira asked. Cagalli was thankful his tone was playful or she would have been heartbroken.
"I thought it was safer if I talked to everyone first," she admitted. In case she got lost with them, because she really wanted to.
"You look nice," Athrun said. It sounded stilted and Kira offered a little shrug.
"I didn't pick it," Cagalli replied as she gestured down at what was probably not the best thing she could have worn. It was bordering on pant-suit, after all, but it was the right colors and a decent cut, at least. "Thank you both for coming."
"We're here to bail you out, aren't we?" Athrun asked. Cagalli gave a little nod and Kira just smiled. It was ridiculously nice to see him in an Orb uniform again, she had to admit.
Kira grabbed his phone and mimed like he was answering. "Yes, report, okay-- Cagalli, I apologize but I'm going to have to ask you to follow along--"
Cagalli nodded and tried not to smile too widely.
free of the gathering, Cagalli pulled them into an empty parlor and flopped on the nearest sofa.
"You used to be more patient with these things," Athrun noted.
"I've been talking to people since eight this morning," Cagalli replied. "When you're both here and not off in your own meetings and--"
She looked at them both. They were still standing.
"I think I'm too tired to hug you and that's really, really sad."
"We can fix that."
Kira settled to her left, and Athrun to her right and before Cagalli knew it, they were a tangle of arms and yeah, she could definitely see where Kira and Athrun had their hands together too. She lingered in their warmth and in their scents for a moment before reaching to catch their linked hands in her own before they pulled back.
"So, something to tell me?" she asked with a little smile. "About time."
"Well..." Oh, Cagalli hadn't seen Athrun blush that color in quite awhile. Kira just nodded.
"I'm glad," Cagalli said quickly. "Honestly, Kira, you take care of Athrun. If I can't do it, you need to."
"He misses you too," Kira said quickly.
"This sounds like a conversation I'm far too tired to have," Cagalli managed. She was being honest. Four dozen people and not enough air vents and now that she was sitting, she was sure the life was going right out of her.
"We don't have to talk about it just yet," Athrun replied. He reached to fix Cagalli's hair and she just leaned against Kira and relaxed.
This was nice. It was everything she wished she could have--
"Where are you staying?" Cagalli questioned after a long moment. She knew she should have known but if someone had told her, it'd gone out of her head somewhere between dogs and cars and wives. Public works budgets were easy in comparison to socializing.
"Wherever you want us to," Athrun replied.
She hadn't quite meant to suggest her bed, but it was the first thing out of her mouth and it definitely ended up being a good solution even though all they really did was sleep in a warm tangle.
And once they all felt rested enough, then they began all the hard conversations.
It wasn't really a second chance. Not with Athrun, not with Kira. But a first chance for all of them together.
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!